SQL Data Services Adventure - Day 1

By James at November 24, 2008 14:36
Filed Under: SQL Data Services

Finally. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now. Cracking open the VPC I created just for this, get VS2008 setup, re-familiarizing myself with SDS, and starting “Thriller”, I’m off on my adventure.

I decided the best way to get up to speed is to complete the Hands On Labs I started at PDC. You can get the same Azure Services Training kit at http://www.microsoft.com/azure/trainingkit.mspx. Unpacking everything and getting ready is pretty straight forward, and to be honest this is really good training, I’d suggest downloading and following along.

Jumping right into the Intro to SQL Data Services Lab things are fine until “unhandled exception (409) Conflict”. What the heck is that, double, triple, quadruple checking my code, yup, it’s fine. So, heading over to the SDS Forums a quick search returns the following post about how things have changed and Authorities are different now.

Now I’m up and running and got the first Exercise, “Using the REST Interface to Access SDS” complete. This is cool, can’t wait for the next one.


B-Side Players - Fire In The Youth - Unplug This Armageddon

Hold Fast Pomade – My first advertising sponsor

By James at November 21, 2008 03:37
Filed Under: Life in General, Non-Technical

My blog is the most popular on the interwebs. It gets so many hits a day, just now eclipsing 3.56 billion, it’s totally amazing to see the hit counters spin and watch how many ones and zeroes are zipped back and forth. Just freaking amazing. And while it’s cool to have so many fans, there is one drawback. I have to setup a new server every week. I know about virtualization and cloud computing, and all that other fancy schmancy technology, but I like to have total control over things. Thinking perhaps there was a way to offset the costs of having to build an entire server, and such, I decided to do what some of those other so called “web loggers” are doing and put an advertisement up. So I called my good friend – good is an understatement, he’s like my brother – Josh Highland.

Josh is an interweb guru, and has so many sites up, he almost comes close to my 3.56 billion hits a day. However, more importantly, is Josh’s ability to come up with ideas for real, tangible things. He has this new product, Hold Fast Pomade, which is taking the hair care product market by storm. Hold Fast Pomade is so popular, the parent company, Hold Fast Products has already come out with a new product line…wait for it… T_SHIRTS! Nice.

So, with that said, I am proud to offer you my first advertising sponsor – Hold Fast Pomade.

Show some interweb click love and give Hold Fast a try. Just click on the ad banner at the bottom of each page.



Postscript. Ok, perhaps 3.56 billion hits a day is a tiny exaggeration, its more like 3.56 hits per month. But Josh is a great friend, and I want to help him out where I can. And Hold Fast Pomade, really is, a great product.


The SQL Data Services adventure begins

By James at November 18, 2008 08:30
Filed Under: SQL Data Services

My great friend and mentor, Lynn Langit has asked me to present on SQL Data Services for geekSpeak on January 14th, 2009. Follow along as I learn as much as I can leading up to my presentation.

Wish me luck,



By James at November 15, 2008 12:50
Filed Under: Life in General

During our travels today, running errands and such, we tried to stick to our game plan. Home Depot for potting soil, Wet Pets for crickets, Petco for dog food. Thinking it would be best to hit Petco first, we started off there. Walking into the store we ran across puppies for adoption. Schnauzer/Wire-haired terrier mixes. Needless to say, we fell in love. We get him on Wednesday, after his, ahem, surgery.

Everyone meet Dexter. Dexter, meet everyone.

How can you not love those ears?

I think we get all these animals ‘cuz we’re never going to get grandchildren.


By James at November 06, 2008 02:47
Filed Under:

Those who know me, know I’m full of ideas. Some are dumb while some really shine. And for some reason this time, I am stuck in the middle. I came up with the absolute most coolest domain name ever, but can’t figure out what to do with it. It is such a Web 2.5 (beta) name, it’s gotta be great, and I’m having a heck of a time nailing it down.

So, I need some help. Give me some ideas on what do with the name, what kind of site/service it would/could/should be.

Ready? Here’s the name…

latringo.com, from my background and family history, a combination of “latino” and “gringo”.

So, what do you think? Help me out, and you *know* I’ll treat you right.


BizSpark – Free Software for Startups

By James at November 06, 2008 02:41
Filed Under: Web Development

Microsoft just launched a new site aimed at helping out startups develop their ideas into innovative and kick ass products. Just like Windows Azure will help in keeping costs down for the new businesses and their IT infrastructure, BizSpark eliminates the high costs of purchasing software, and frees up the creativity to build out the ideas.

Of course there are some “gotcha’s”, but they appear to be pretty minimal.

More information can be found on the Microsoft Startup Zone site. http://www.microsoftstartupzone.com/BizSpark/Pages/At_a_Glance.aspx

I love the direction that Microsoft is leaning towards. Go check it out!


Enough said

By James at November 04, 2008 15:34
Filed Under: Life in General

“If there is anyone out there who doubts that America is a place where anything is possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.”

Barack Obama

November 4, 2008

I can’t remember a time when I was happier to be an American.


Is this being too much of a geek?

By James at November 02, 2008 06:57
Filed Under: Web Development, Life in General

With the announcement of Windows Azure, lots of people started grabbing domains relating to Azure. How geeky is this?


Guess who owns it?

Interestingly enough, Microsoft registered azure.com 14 years ago.


Post PDC 2008, onto SQL Data Services

By James at November 02, 2008 06:55
Filed Under: SQL Data Services

My first PDC was great with lots of new things to absorb and learn about. However this time, I’m going to go at this in a more structured way. Starting today, I am going to devote my learning time to SQL Data Services with several intentions.

1) I think this platform is just really bitchen.

2) I want to be the community expert when it comes to SDS (think Julia Lerman and Entity Framework, Jesse Liberty and Silverlight, Geoff Emery and Virtual Earth).

3) One of the coolest guys I know, and a great friend, David Robinson, is the Senior Program Manager on the SDS team, and has offered to help me in any way he can.

So, I’ve created a VPC image so I can install all the bits, and I will be writing up my experiences here as often as I can. Check back often. I’m off spelunking.

I'm going to PDC 2008!

By James at October 25, 2008 12:44
Filed Under: PDC 2008

Ever since there has been a PDC I have wanted to attend. And for various reasons I wasn't able to, mainly due to the expense. Due to my work in the community, and being a charter member of their Academy, one of the IEDOTNETUG sponsors, JetBrains, offered me a pass to attend. All I would have to do is work in the booth 2 hours a day, and give a presentation.

I was stoked, until I got the call that they were reconsidering and wanted to have someone "more famous". Huh?! Bummed but not out, I started working my magic on everyone I know, and finally Lynn Langit, offered to help.

Lynn is great, and can get stuff that no one else can. But after 2 weeks of being told "Huh, umm, NO" by everyone she asked, it seem pretty bleak. Resigning myself to the fact that it would be yet another PDC of watching webcasts and dreaming of the day, I got both a rather strange email from Lynn, "Gisli Olafsson PDC pass for James Johnson", and a twitter message "@jamesIEDOTNET read your mail w00t!", last Wednesday morning (October 22) .

As it turns out Gisli is a Microsoft Employee in Iceland, and was called to Kenya during the same time as PDC 2008. I don't know how Lynn found this out, or got a hold of him, but she did and he graciously offered to transfer his registration to me.


Needless to say, I was flabbergasted, appreciative, happy, ecstatic, etc. Props and THANKS to both Lynn and Gisli for making this happen for me. I am going to have so much fun!

If you’re going to be at PDC 2008, send me an email via the blog, or follow me on twitter. My alias is jamesIEDOTNET. Stay tuned for more entries, photos and other stuff.


About the author

James James is a five time and current Microsoft MVP in Client App Development, a Telerik Insider, a past Director on the INETA North America Board, a husband and dad, and has been developing software since the early days of Laser Discs and HyperCard stacks. As the Founder and President of the Inland Empire .NET User's Group, he has fondly watched it grow from a twice-a-month, early Saturday morning group of five in 2003, to a robust and rambunctious gathering of all types and sizes of .NET developers.

James loves to dig deep into the latest cutting edge technologies - sometimes with spectacular disasters - and spread the word about the latest and greatest bits, getting people excited about developing web sites and applications on the .NET platform, and using the best tools for the job. He tries to blog as often as he can, but usually gets distracted by EF, LINQ, MVC, ASP, SQL, XML, and most other types of acronyms. To keep calm James plays a mean Djembe and tries to practice his violin. You can follow him on twitter at @latringo.

And as usual, the comments, suggestions, writings and rants are my own, and really shouldn't reflect the opinions of my employer. That is, unless it really does.

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